Archives for posts with tag: garden

Suddenly the garden is filled with surprise. Every day I venture out there is something new to delight my childlike heart. Snowdrops garlanded with raindrops. Winter Aconite – Eranthis hyemalis, shines like gold in the morning sun; and Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) in bud…

From the bedroom window, the first dainty blossoms shine like fallen stars, closer inspection reveals delicate, pale blossoms on the slender bough. First hawthorn leaves are bright green in the leafless hedgerow…

 Early crocus (C. tommasinianus) punctuate the lawn as I hurriedly planted in the Autumn, not eaten by the voles but flourishing under  the birch and beech. The first daffodils, their gold petals beginning to burst from their protective capsule. How glorious the Spring garden as winter flees, the warmth and sun returns and the garden takes on colour  once again…


Every day in the garden is filled with wonder

Thanks for stopping by today

February Sunset

As slowly light returns

pushing back the boundary

of darkness;

Winter yields to Spring,

As new greens rend the drabness.

Even in seeming chaos

Ordered growth encircles us

Bringing Hope, gentle Gladness


A constant, gentle drumming on the old slate roof as the grey clouds relinquish their burden of rain over the land. The ribbon of tarmac, a river of rain water rushing into culvert and burn. Yesterday’s frost long forgotten, golden sunsets consumed in greyness. Sea and sky meld into uniform colour, horizon barely visible, hiding the land beyond. But somewhere beyond the clouds the sun is still shining…

From the moss and litter of beech leaves Snowdrops spread in white drifts across the garden. Light in the darkness, brightness in the shadows. Life is filled with contrasts – health, ill-health, gladness, sadness, life or death. So much taken for granted until suddenly confronted by the enormity of a sudden change in circumstances. But on this journey I have discovered it is not a journey walked in solitude but accompanied by a great cloud of witnesses. I’m so grateful and humbled by messages of hope and prayer from all around the world and at home. Surrounded by such good friends and family and the assurance of a loving God who will never leave or abandon us. Tomorrow is another step into the unknown before more surgery. I believe You’re gonna be ok

Thanks for stopping by today



Super moon

 Six a.m. Slide out of bed, feet reach for warm slippers; slip into cosy dressing gown; step out onto the cool landing into bright moonlight. Oscar ‘chirrups’ a gladsome greeting and takes the stairs in threes; runs into the chilly kitchen. Together we stand at the backdoor gazing across the silver lawn, crisscrossed by pale skeletal tree shadows. Bright white light pours through the skylight windows illuminating the kitchen. Os pleads to be let into the garden but far too cold for an early morning foray…

Later, walking gingerly across the frozen grass, he sniffs the air, pink nose bright in the crisp morning. Everything in the garden shines, frosted, etched in silvery-white. How delicate and fragile the flowers appear, frozen, chrystalised, translucent in the low sun…

Rosebuds, sweet peas, tiny tendrils, dusted leaves, powdered ice; now so vulnerable in the wintry air…

Fungi, fringed and frozen, rooted in time, no faeries feasted here of late. No voles or fearless mice; the tiny pitter-patter in the cottage, speaks of refuge from the biting weather…

Calendula and Cosmos hang down their heads, capitulate to the weather as birds gather at the feeders. Crow family stomp fearlessly across the frozen garden, or roost *gallusly in the bare Beech waiting for an opportune moment to snatch a snack!

Thanks for stopping by today – keep cosy winter’s here!

( *Gallus – Scottish – bold, cheeky or flashy)


Lonely days ahead...

The wind has turned and the cold North wind blows through the trees, suddenly reminded of winters close proximity.The still green leaves pass quickly through copper and gold to rich brown. Flurries of leaves dance across the garden, a deep, crisp, carpet; a satisfying crunch underfoot…

Now the first frost arrives; a flurry of snow, with a bitterly cold wind coaxing, cajoling, withering, drying, prying the leaves from the trees. The garden is alive with hungry birds; a bevvy of blackbirds, a flurry of goldcrests, goldfinch, and a tattle of tits. The hawthorn trees are soon stripped of the haws, the lichen and moss probed for over-wintering insects. No sooner are the feeders filled before the arguments start, the dunnocks and robins content to gather from the ground. Flossy loiters beneath them too hoping for an easy treat….

Even so, the cold dark ground sends forth shoots, the first snowdrops piercing the sunless soil. A few last flowers burst into bloom, calendula golden in the weak sunlight, roses in November and pink lilies. First long winter rains and the little burn rushes by, carrying a flotilla of beech leaves toward the sea on a rush of white water. Three white swans fly overhead and the curlew calls from the field, a sure sign the season is turning.

Inula seed heads

Stark against the muted sky, seed heads offered up to foraging finches, sunflowers submitting to the cold and rain. Dahlias never to flower need dug out and stored, but the moss-lined baskets of viola and cyclamen cheerily open new flowers, sparkling in the evening sun.

Firelight and lamplight, soup and fresh bread, casserole and stew, winter food to feed the body. Poetry, music, reading, writing, time for the soul. Times for reflection and planning and dreaming of next years summer garden. Of being organised and having an orderly garden! Aye, right! 😀

Have a good day, thanks for stopping by!

November Postcard

British Summer Time may have ended but November opened into bright sunshine; wreathed around with golden tones.

First frosts have intensified Autumn colours from vivid orange, red, yellow, purple, burnished bronze and copper hue. Late flowers illuminate the garden in glowing petals. Last sweet peas cling to the weathered trellis, faintly perfumed now, energy spent in final perfect petals, soft pink, white, deep purples and red…

Chocolate cosmos, nasturtiums in warm colour, palest petite poppies, final flourish before winters sleep…


Sunflowers, wind-worn; food for late Autumn visitors and Winter survivors. Beech and birch trees wear coats of deepening autumn shades, scattering the trembling leaves across the garden, reminiscent of a 70’s ‘Windsor’ carpet.

Shortened days, still rich in light over sea and land, causing the observer to pause and cherish each blessed moment.

Reflection pool

Autumn, time of reflection as day gives way to night, Autumn to Winter, warmth to cold. Times of transition, resetting, contemplation and rest.

November gifts

November gifts, a gathering in of late fruits and flowers. Warm nights gathered by the fire, soup and bread shared with friends. Candlelight and lamp light, starlight and moonlight. Mittens and scarves, warm boots and heavy coats. November; Winters gatekeeper, but for now, open up your eyes and heart to her harvest…


(Postcard; Lena Anderson, author and illustrator Sweden)

You’ll find me in the garden!

October seems to be a good month in the garden. Last year we had a perfect ‘Indian Summer‘ before November stormed in with wind and rain continuing well into 2016! Taking as much advantage as I can of this sublime gift, every opportunity I can, you will find me in the garden. Sunrise is after seven now, slowly stealing up behind the hills, as the sky brightens in palest pink and mauve. Disregarding the old adage “red sky in the morning….” I plan my day in the garden beneath the azure sky.

Frost has not yet visited, sweet peas still blossom, pinks mark the garden border, while the roses burst into  flower again. A few late visitors seek refuge in their petals, drinking down the last offerings of nectar. Late bees and hoverflies, the occasional red admiral or small tortoiseshell butterfly. No more dragons in the garden; such a brief adventure, then they are gone.

Sunset is swift and bright, golden and grey, sleeping warriors bask in the last rays. From the depth of the gloaming moths flit among the ivy flowers. Robin pipes his twilight tune and bids goodnight. The quite wind shakes the bronzed leaves from the bough, hedgehog rustles the dry and yellow grass. And the silver moon illuminates the darkened sky, bright stars, the lighthouse beam, ships lights upon the water. Earth never sleeps, someone, somewhere is awake, observing this unquiet world, where minuscule or magnificent, malevolent or mighty acts occur…

Thank you for stopping by today, the sun is out, the dew is drying. Time to tackle a tangle of lilies again!

Oktober postcard

It seems everything falls softly beneath an October sky. Dawn steals around the curtains as sunrise paints the clouds in pink and orange tones. Coppered, golden leaves drift from the gnarled and knotted beech trees, floating across the garden to lie in soft, inviting mounds.

Berries swell on dew-heavy bushes, warmed by late October sun. Butterflies with faded, tattered wings alight momentarily upon the sun-kissed fruit, then skim across the garden on a sudden breeze. Autumn is in the air, paints the garden in richest pallette…

Rose hips gathered, sweet amber cordial to stave off the winter chill. Berries left unharvested, wild things may have their fill before winter ravages the garden and the lean months blow in…

Unexpected guests arrive, basking in bright sunshine, half unfurled in the sun. Unabashed at meeting Oscar but maybe they are well acquainted passing the time, half-hidden in the long grass, beneath the shady hawthorn.

Past the Equinox and night gradually overtakes the day; sunsets fall more quickly now, hurrying beyond the horizon to brighten spring days in another hemisphere. Dew falls readily on the skylight windows blurring the last rays of sunset as stars begin to twinkle in the moonless sky. Air scented with pinewood fires from cottage chimneys, late curlews call splits the tranquil air. From the hedgerows, low rustling, shuffling sounds as the night creatures leave their leafy beds summoned by silent darkness. Songbirds roost in ivy apparelled hawthorn, solitary bat leaves the roof ridge circles quickly then returns to the shelter of home. Autumn falls softly in the garden…

Thanks for stopping by today – enjoy the changing seasons wherever you are.


Full Circle

A steady rain has fallen since late morning in spite of the promised early sunshine. On days like this you learn to move between inside and outside work as the weather predicts. (That may mean achieving very little!) It has not been a particularly good summer so the need of a large greenhouse seems imperative.

The weedy cardoons have been lifted and potted up, a new planting place will be needed in Spring. Sweet peas have succumbed to the attentions of greenfly and the birds seem quite indifferent to this feast of food. But the first cosmos have blossomed and tiny nasturtiums brighten the dying flower beds. Bulbs have been ordered but the whole garden is in need of a revamp and re-planned, as some plants have taken over and others struggle where they’re planted 😦

Apples harvested, the untidy knot of wild flowers removed along with the perennial weeds that have invaded the orchard; Bruce’s memorial uncovered and spring bulbs planted. Seed-heads gathered, seeds cleaned and packaged ready for the new season…

Composters overflowing with spent plants as the gardens are cleared and tidied. Small potted plants placed in the mini-greenhouse, sheltered from the worst of the cold wind and rain that is the staple of winter on Scotland’s west coast…

Green manures sown in the freshly prepared beds, already sprouting after only a few days in the ground. Having uncovered and pruned the Japanese quince there are plenty of fruits this year, and rose hips need gathered to make Syrup for the long, dark winter months…

Sunbathing in late sunshine

Esme makes the most of the sun if it shines. The chicken’s day is punctuated with foraging, sunbathing, begging and pest control – sadly never had any eggs since the traumatic fox visit last year…

Looks like the rain has stopped – too late to garden?

Thanks for stopping by today!



The thistledown’s flying, though the winds are all still,

On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill…


John Clare  (1793–1864)

Autumns Calling Card

Almost but not yet; 

Subtle changes in the air,

Summers greenery pocked and frayed

flutters and falls – Autumns calling card is here.

Swift swallows gather in excited twitter,

balancing in groups upon the wire.

Garden birds change their tune;

no longer June

Autumn tints upon the trees

Autumn traced along the leaf,

as Summers radiant flowers set to seed.

And toadstools flourish in the lawn,

muted tones; brown and fawn.

But Summer is not quite transformed;

Autumn not yet arrived in strength;

but shines through petaled flowers

– scented air.

Rosa 'Jenny'

Autumn is making its presence felt, every day a new sound calls from the trees, Gold crests, Goldfinches, families of Blue tits, Sparrows, Dunnocks, Coal tits and Great tits. The nest boxes have been well used raising several broods of garden birds including Sparrows. Now thoughts move to the big garden tidy, harvesting, planting, protecting. seasons change; Autumn used to make me SAD but now I look and see that the garden is already in preparation for Spring.

Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

Follow the path...

Had a chance to revisit the ‘Magic Garden’  again last month. Following the roads beneath stately trees, bird song echoing through the leafy branches. Buzzards rising on the thermals and calling to one another as they circled under wide blue skies.

Silver/ white pine?

Surprised by the osprey, lifting off and drifting over the grain fields; seems as if every corner of the estate has something new to surprise and transfix…

Stepping into the garden, the visitor is confronted by several paths – which to follow? Whichever you choose, each is beautifully planted, each breath brings new fragrance on the warm air. Scents of roses, lilies, aromatic herbs… Melodies alight upon the ears from the green hedges, as the wild birds fill the garden with sweet cadences of song. If old walls could speak, what stories would they tell? How many feet have trod these paths, what connects them to this delightful place?

Always new things to discover… Pushing open the gate, the air is heavily perfumed in the dwindling evening warmth. Drawn to its source; a stately lily towers above our heads, bearing long white trumpets perfuming the immediate surroundings. A Giant Himalayan Lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum) stands almost hidden behind the shrubs that shelter the doorway. Walking slowly along the gravel path, brushing the herbs as we do so, stopping to inhale the heady fragrance of the white roses, a small red flower catches our attention. Winding its way through the clipped Yew hedges the Flame Creeper (Trapaeolum speciosum)  lights up the the somber green. (I covet both these plants!)

Red Astilbe path

Each path draws the visitor along, the sound of the wind rustling the nodding flowers, the fragrance changing with each breath, colours changing in each new vista. On our first visit we allowed the garden to overwhelm us, this time we walked more measuredly, taking time to absorb the differing senses, creating memories.

And remembering to take photos – yes, there are enough for another post 😀

Thanks for stopping by today!